Kano state branch of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN, has called on the federal government not to open border for importation of rice as demanded by some peoples in the country.
The association said heeding to the call would be suicidal to the nation’s economy.
The Kano State RIFAN chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Haruna Aliyu, made the call during a media chat in Kano.
According to him, only people with ill-feelings towards the achievement so far recorded by the present administration would make such suggestions.
He added that the recently recorded increase in price of paddy in the country has been attributed to some middlemen who created an artificial paddy scarcity in the nation.
“Rice farmers produced a reasonable quantity of paddy during the last dry season, but there are some financially viable middlemen who neither grow nor mill rice but they are buying and hoarding paddy.
“They have big warehouses stocked with paddy thereby creating an artificial scarcity in the market which resulted in the hike of rice price,” he said.
Daily Trust reports that, the chairman said a report reaching the RIFAN office showed that the middlemen are currently buying rice plantations from farmers as they couldn’t wait till harvest time.
Recalled that recently the price of local rice has gone high in the country which posed a great challenge to the people particularly the masses.
Also in Kabbi state, the largets producers of rice, flood has destroyed rice farms worth billions of Naira which adds to the threat for it’s scarcity.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has described the flood disaster in Kebbi State as a major setback to the national effort to boost rice production in the country.
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, also expressed concerns over the loss of lives and property to the flooding in the affected communities.